Jim Shahin

Jim Shahin

  • Associate Professor

    Magazine, News and Digital Journalism

Jim Shahin is an accomplished magazine writer and editor, whose work has appeared in GQ, The Columbia Journalism Review, Texas Monthly, Southern Living, Spin, Parents, Parenting, Esquire.com, Bon Appetit.com and NPR's TheSalt.com, among others. His work has won several awards, including a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award and a Women in Communications Award. He was part of a three-person faculty team that supervised a Newhouse graduate-level digital magazine capstone project called Bellwethr that won several prestigious awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists award for the nation's Best Digital-Only Student Publication and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) award for Best of the Web Mobile App Design and second-place for Start-Up Magazine Project (Team). 

After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1976, Shahin worked as a freelance music writer for the Austin Sun and the Austin American-Statesman, and interviewed B.B. King, Mose Allison, Albert King, John Lee Hooker and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, among others. His reviews included Elvis Costello on his first tour of America. 

Shahin went on to become a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, then became the first politics editor at the Austin Chronicle, where he wrote a weekly column and oversaw the section's significant growth. For the Chronicle, Shahin covered the 1984 Republican Convention in Dallas and oversaw a team that covered the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. Shahin went on to become a senior editor at American Way magazine, where he wrote profiles of Republican National Committee chairman Lee Atwater and Democratic National Committee chairman Ron Brown and travel stories on conflict areas such as Northern Ireland and Haiti, which included an interview with President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Later, he wrote a long-running humor column. Individual columns have been included in college writing textbooks and syndicated by The New York Times.

He writes the Smoke Signals column for The Washington Post on the culture and cuisine of barbecue and grilling. His work was selected for the anthology "Best Food Writing 2015."